Internationally acclaimed architect Frank O. Gehrys Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles has finally been completed. Hosting its first concert in October of 2003 its certain to become as expected and suggested by Gehry - an interesting addition to the area. The concept described by Gehry as "a kind of flower" originally inspired by a bowl of roses is yet another variation of Gehry's signature metalographies.
Designed as the permanent home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the hall is anticipated to become an internationally recognized symbol for Los Angeles. The initial $50 million to erect the Concert Hall was given in 1987 by Lillian Disney to create a memorial for her husband, the legendary movie and animation pioneer Walt Disney. The project had to overcome numerous delays and the end cost was nearly $250 million dollars.
The auditorium is described as on of the most acoustically sophisticated concert halls in the world. "A lot of collaborative effort went into the design of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The auditorium, has carefully followed the program provided by the Los Angeles Philharmonic," said Gehry. "We have worked with Nagata Associates of Japan, who are primarily the acousticians for the project, and through that collaboration the interior sculpted shape evolved. The Philharmonic, one of the world's finest orchestras, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the largest and most esteemed choral organization of its kind in the United States - these will be the users and the people who will bring life to this building."
The new venue occupies a 3.6-acre site, a full city block in the Bunker Hill area, with a large portion of the site dedicated to an urban park with public gardens and ornamental landscaping. The complex houses the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater named in honor of Walt Disney's brother and partner, and his wife. The theater will be operated and programmed by CalArts, a multi-disciplinary arts school based in Valencia, Calif., and founded by Roy and Walt Disney. A 220-seat, multi-use theater and an art gallery will showcase the work of CalArts faculty and students, as well as cutting-edge artists from around the world.
The concert hall consist of a 230,000 square-foot structure on a 3.6 acre site on Grand Avenue between First and Second Streets in downtown Los Angeles; sits atop parking garage. It will be a three-level complex with a 2,273-seat concert hall; Grand Stairway; Atrium Lobby; Pre-Concert Foyer; Founders Room; Green Room; restaurants and bars.
The exterior is clad in panels of brushed stainless steel; concert hall interiors are beautifully paneled in douglas fir. Soaring glass panels and skylights fill the public interior spaces with natural light. A unique pipe organ serves as a focal point of the concert hall; audience seating surrounds the orchestra. Backstage areas include rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, music library, instrument storage areas, locker rooms, and orchestra lounge.